Thursday, April 1, 2010


Yesterday I saw lots of blossoms coming directly out of the trunks. Weird and cool!

"Frilly, frothy cherriness," is the way my friend K-brow describes the bloom. Oh yeah. What's really cool about this time of year is the juxtaposition of all that soft, ephemeral, brand new pinkness blossoming from a tree whose trunk is truly the most gnarly thing you've ever seen. Cherry tree trunks are twisted, lumpy, sporting an uneven texture of bumps and grinds. They are amazing to look at, though I would never call them pretty. When they bloom, cherry trees bring together grizzled old age with smooth, pink infancy. It is a powerful alchemy!

So it's no wonder that a part of my annual cherry ritual includes eating some of the blossoms. When I tell people this, they always look alarmed, tell me I shouldn't eat them, that they probably aren't edible or might hurt me. I eat some every year, people. So far they have had no perceivable impact on me, other than producing an urge to wear pink for a few days afterwards.

Though extremely bitter, I can taste the cherry in them. They taste like unsweetened cough syrup. According to Chinese medicine, cherries are good for the heart. I know, I KNOW, I'm not eating cherries and in fact these Japanese cherry trees do not actually ever produce fruit. But I'm eating the essence of cherry. I'm taking into my body the alchemy I described above. I am eating spring. How can that be bad for me, especially at my age?

I'm sure the ducks eat plenty of blossoms, too. Once the bloom has passed its peak, bushels of cherry blossom petals flutter into the basin like pink snow. Considering their diet of discarded tourist junk food, the blossoms are probably the most delicious thing those ducks ever get.

It's another splendid day today. My plans include a very long walk with the big dog past all the blooming cherry trees on Capitol Hill. My goodness, I love Washington DC in spring. Oh yeah!!

"Junk food" is an oxymoron, isn't it?


Val said...

those cherry blossoms are the epitome of spring! are you wearing pink now? thanks for an array of gorgeous photos - i never knew about the cherry blossoms in DC! enjoy x

Whitney Lee said...

That's beautiful! And considering the things that are placed on store shelves and touted as food, I'd imagine a few flowers aren't going to do you any harm.

I, too, am going to load up the munchkins and the dog and go for a nice long walk with a girlfriend this afternoon. I'll feed my needs on many levels! Have fun:)

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, Val, I am wearing pink shorts and a pink "life is good" t-shirt. The blossoms have had their alchemical effect on me! Yay!!

ellen abbott said...

So beautiful. they are so pale pink they appear white in the photos. The red bud trees are like that too, this year anyway, with clusters of flowers coming right out of the trunks and large branches.

Reya Mellicker said...

The life force is so powerful!

willow said...

A powerful alchemy, indeed! I love the blossoms peeping out of the gnarly trunk.

jinksy said...

Think I need to share a poem with you...

Cherry Blossom

Bunched on slim stalks,
tight-furled buds dangle
puckered, rosy lips,
offering a kiss of welcome.

Canopies blush beauty,
full-blown, short lived
cherry petals. Pink froth
becomes a tidemark
on trim emerald turf,
fallen blossom
marking ebb and flow
of capricious night winds.

Matching ruffle-edged flounce,
adrift alongside wall or path,
extends its gentle glow
to soften harsh perimeters
with flower-strewn finery.

Producing a composition
of pristine clarity,
Spring's light brushstrokes
overlay Winter's canvas.

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks Jinxy.

Willow I loved your question for the planetary scientist: is there chocolate on other planets? Good question!!

She Writes said...

Tom sent me over.

I wanted to alert you immediately to the unforeseen possibility of danger in eating cherry blossoms! Sounds like I need to try some instead :).

HalfCrazy said...

Hey there!

Haha, I think this is the first time I actually knew about someone eating blossoms. That's weird and cool, like the blossoms coming out of the trunks!

I love the third shot! I forgot about the history of these Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC. I might have to research about it..

Deborah said...


the blooms may help against allergies

Deborah said...


the blooms may help against allergies

Liza said...

"weird and cool"
i love that!
i think i've said it before, but Washington is Incredible!

Thanks for sharing your ritual.

Nancy said...

Love it! A little bite of spring couldn't hurt.

Tom said...

i don't know about cherry blossoms, but Toby looooooves cherries. Don't fret, i depit them first. Is that a word, depit?

Decrepit gnarly trees must be here for a reason, certainly they are more interesting than your run of the mill Bradford Pear

Ronda Laveen said...

The first image that popped to mind when I looked at the flowers blooming from trunk was that of Beauty and the Beast.

I really like essence/vibrational medicine. I see it as the medicine of the future so I totally get your blossom infusion. I do the same thing with the pretty, pink manzanita blossoms. The are like tiny, puffy bells but instead of bitter, their nectar is lightly sweet.

Ronda Laveen said...

HA! What a tricksy little April Fool's Day prankster Blogger is today.

It showed my comment was saved, but after three times of closing out your blog and returning, it wasn't there and...boom! It popped up. You were the first one to get me.

Mary Ellen said...


Karen said...

Amazing! My favorite thing is that one branch leaning down into the Tidal Basin...

Linda Sue said...

Seems silly to go to all that fuss and not become a cherry...ornamental for such a short time- I am glad that you have eaten some of the blossoms, somehow it makes it seem more important now.

Reya Mellicker said...

When I took the dogs out this afternoon, everyone was sitting outside. One of the neighbors took one look at my pink outfit and said, "Hey, you look like the cherry trees!"

So the blossoms had their effect.

Linda Sue said...

Your photo collage looks so three D on my screen. Very cool how you do that.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Reya Mellicker said...

Linda Sue: I do it in photoshop. It's lots of fun.

Sorry to have deleted that last comment. Didn't mean to. The person said "What you reap, you shall sow."

May springtime course through my body and soul in its beautiful pinkness! Amen!

lettuce said...

that top collage is spectacular
what a wonderful tree